Over the course of the Earth's history, there have been at least five Ice Ages. We are in one now. More specifically, we are 11,000 years into an "interglacial period" (so called because the ice packs of Greenland, the Artic and the Antarctic have not yet melted) called the Holocene. The ice packs will continue to melt, as they have throughout planetary history, until the next glacial period begins in about 50,000 years.
We recite that to put this week's latest White House effort to promote global warming hysteria - and more specifically, the absurd assertion that climate change is man-made - in perspective.
A federal scientific panel that includes top administration officials issued a report Tuesday called the "U.S. National Climate Assessment." The report contained what has become typical fare for the global warming crowd - predictions of rising seas, more and stronger storms, drought, longer summers and shorter winters, and general weather calamity. It was issued as part of the president's "climate action plan" and as such serves as political cover for his effort to advance cap and trade legislation and all manner of new carbon-related regulations.
But the report already has come under widespread criticism, partly because it doesn't square with the government's own studies, and partly because, like so much of climate science these days, its predictions don't square with outcomes.
Mario Lewis, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, has written a devastating critique of the federal report. He notes for instance that the report blames the Midwest drought of 2012 on climate change, despite the fact that the government's own study says specifically that is not so. He refers to an assessment report on the drought by the NOAA Drought Task Force, which blames the drought on a temporary shift in wind patterns. It described them as "natural variations in weather." The NOAA report went on to say, "Neither ocean states nor human-induced climate change (yes, the authors are global warming true believers), factors that can provide long-lead predictability, appeared to play major roles in causing severe rainfall deficits over the major corn-producing regions of the central Great Plains."
Tuesday's report also suggests that the frequency and intensity of major hurricanes and tornadoes is increasing due to global warming. But Lewis points out that the U.S. is "currently in the longest period on record with no major (category 3-5) hurricane landfalls."
As for more intense tornadoes, Lewis cites a study by University of Colorado professor Roger Pielke Jr. finding that "the number of years with very large tornado losses has actually decreased" during 1993-2013 compared to 1950-1970.
And as for the "pause" in supposed warming, which the White House report grudgingly acknowledges, Lewis notes it is now in its 18th year, causing "a growing divergence between climate model predictions and observations."
It was 2008 when Al Gore, pope of the church of global warming, divined that 2013 was the last year we would have a polar ice cap - no more North Pole. That didn't happen of course, just as virtually every other calamitous climate prediction has failed to materialize.
The ice caps will eventually melt of course. But when they do, it will have nothing to do with manmade activity, which is far too insignificant to materially affect the weather. It will be due to the natural historical pulse between warm and cold that has played out in each of the ice ages. Climate is always in flux, as is all of nature.
Global warming is a political theory, masquerading as science, in a quest to do away with certain disfavored industries such as coal and petroleum. If the effort is successful, the middle class and poor will pay the price through exorbitant and unnecessary energy costs. Global warming skeptics are demonized in every way these days, but darn the luck, the data just keeps on supporting their point of view.